Labels like Natalie Encarnita don't just burst onto the scene on a whim. The result of years of contemplation, research and practice, venture’s like Encarnita’s eponymous label begin as a dream and end up, slowly but surely, becoming a reality.
In Encarnita’s case, her label has been a couple of years, and false starts, in the making. Despite a rather successful début while studying in the UK, the conservative approach of some of Encarnita’s international stockists ended up working against her creativity and she ended up taking a two-year break from her label to work as a production manager for a label in London.
"I decided to take some time off because it felt like the aesthetic of the designs became very controlled by the stores I was selling to and I needed to break away from that way of working," she says. "Also, I think during the time between starting the label as an 18-year-old student and now, my likes have changed hugely so it seemed logical to take a step back from it to allow for a new start aesthetically."
After taking time off to regroup and rethink, Encarnita’s comeback is a promising one, with her autumn-winter range soon to be gracing the racks of Alice Euphemia in Melbourne and Blonde Venus in Brisbane. If such reputable stockists are any indicator, Encarnita’s designs herald a new label to watch out for – one which possesses a keen eye for interesting basics, thoughtful construction and ability to incorporate a powerful print.
"I love the construction process,” she says. “I love to indulge in beautiful cloth and carefully consider how each part of the garment is cut and finished. I've also gained an appreciation for simplicity, which feels luxurious in itself."
While each piece of the collection seems incredibly calculated and commercially considered, Encarnita admits to designing for a mood rather than a specific consumer. In the case of this collection, she garnered inspiration from the drone music genre, which developed during the 60s in New York.
"The idea that a defining feature of music, sound, can be silence just seemed so contrary and interesting! So I thought about how this could apply to garment design."
The result is a versatile mix of what Encarnita describes as “non-designs”. Raglan sleeves and a midriff cut provides a modern take on the nude blouse while the perfect slouch on her grey marle pleated pants can't help but bring about comparisons to the soft tailoring of Celine.
In Encarnita’s terms, her designs are honest and true to her own aesthetic. So far it's proving to be a winning recipe.